I wake up this morn and I am tired. I wonder why as I retired the night before at a decent hour. I am not only tired I am irritable. I am usually an early riser but this morn I roll back over pulling covers over my head. I feel the irritability and I feel my clenched jaw and aching neck. I stumble down for coffee my morning saving grace. I have been grouchy and I have been feeling less than energetic. I am also giving myself 100 lashes this morn in my mind for my moody behavior. I along with many others are feeling an all time high of tension. I have allowed this and I have allowed myself to be a sponge for any negative emotion or arrow slung my way. Now I have to regroup.
Times they are a changing and with any change usually comes upheaval in some form or another. The trick to maintaining some sense of saneness is to know when we are being overloaded. We have to be aware of us and how we are handling our stressors and it is a time of tremendous stress. Often we are not aware of the things adding to our stress load in times of calm. We often think of stress as negative or “bad.” We forget what we consider the “good” can also cause stress. We live in a society where we are expected to be strong to be doers, to get things done. We are told early on to “act like a man, be a big girl or dont’ cry.” To ask for help or support is often seen as a sign of weakness. We all feel it. We feel the sweaty palms, the racing heart, the dry mouth, the headaches, yet we keep on keeping on.
With recent events,as a woman of color I am experiencing moments of apprehension and I am taken back to memories of my ancestral past. I hear my fathers voice advising me to be careful. I hear his instructions telling me how to be in the outer world and I hear him telling me that I have to work twice as hard as my white counterparts. I hear his stories of life during Jim Crow and I slide back under my covers wondering if this is where we are heading once again. I have lost friendships that I thought would see me thru the seasons of my life as we no longer have a shared vision. I have heard the words, taunts and seen actions of hate that would make a compassionate person feel great pain. Yes it is a time of stress that has me contemplating purchasing a firearm at the advice of a well meaning friend. The thought of a cold metal object in my hand capable of taking a life that has already taken lives of so many also fills me with dread. However I am aware that what we are feeling is normal for what we are experiencing. It is a time of uncertainty and collective angst. We feel it and in its juices we are marinating. We wonder why we are so tired and lackluster. We wonder about this deep grief we feel and why we are always on the verge of tears. This is the time if ever to be good to ourselves; to allow our feelings of grief and all else to come to the service. If we are called to lie in bed all day watching trash movies, we grant ourselves that permission without judgement. It is about being kind to ourselves and to others all the while holding tight to our boundaries. This is the time to eat the cake, drink the wine and know this too shall pass and we will come out on the other side.